Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Governor Abbott calls fourth special session

Kayla McCutcheon

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Texas lawmakers convened for a fourth special session. Gov. Greg Abbott called lawmakers back into session immediately after the previous one had ended, stating, “There is more work to be done.” 

Abbott is focusing on four things this time around: school safety, school funding, border security and criminal offenses for illegal border crossing. All of these topics are left over from the legislation’s third session.

The policy on school vouchers has been continuously struck down for decades, and many constituents have even voiced their opinions on them. The policy would allow Abbott to create “education savings accounts” that aim to provide over $10,000 for families to pay for alternative schooling options, specifically private institutions. 

People have voiced concerns about this bill, worried that it will diminish equitable access to educational opportunities, undermine the rights of students with disabilities, further deplete already insufficient public school budgets and more.

While calling a fourth special session is uncommon, it is not entirely inconceivable. In the 176 years that the legislature has been active, this has occurred only 10 times prior, when a governor called a fourth special session following a regular session. The difference between this fourth special session and the 10 previous ones is that the other sessions were spaced out across a year, whereas Abbott called this session the same day that the third session ended.

The timing of this session is especially striking, as it coincides with the candidate filing window for the March primary, which started on Nov. 11 and will continue until Dec. 11. Abbott has explicitly stated that if legislators fail to approve vouchers in this session, he intends to leverage it as a focal point against resistant members of his party in the primary elections. For both parties, Abbott is attempting to persuade lawmakers to engage, but in both parties there are those who are opposed, with 61 of the 85 Republican representatives voting for the vouchers.

By law, the special session cannot last longer than 30 days, so this session will be over by Dec. 7. However, Abbott has continued to be denied these policies in sessions, and it is unclear whether this session will bring a resolution. 

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Allana Llabres, Social Media Manager
Allana (she/her) is a first-year Medical Humanities major at UTSA. Beyond graduation she plans to attend the UT Health School of Dentistry. When she’s not doing homework you can find her making jewelry or hanging out with friends. This is her first semester with the Paisano.

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    NeiraCastilloNov 22, 2023 at 9:42 am

    What is wrong with this man? Does he not get it, we do not want voucher! It is a discount for already the privileged! It does nothing for poor! 🤬🤬